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Want to Think More Creatively?

Image of work area set up with tables and chairs

Imagine you have to choose your workspace, where you innovate, collaborate and spend 40+ hours per week at this space. Are you more inclined to choose the first photo or the second photo?

I’m willing to bet the first photo would win out.

A few weeks ago, I taught at Drake University. The first part of the sessions we had were in a classroom. It was windowless, sterile, lacking in color. Our second set of sessions happened at Blue Bean, a creative coworking space. (the first photo). It was full of windows, natural light, color and various options for seating and collaborating. It was night and day from the classroom session to the Blue Bean session how students interacted, engaged, and collaborated. It was noticeable to me as the facilitator, and many students commented on the difference.

This isn’t a new concept or an earth-shattering revelation. There have been many studies ranging from how your environment affects your productivity to what colors spark creativity. But I think often times we think of this on a grand scale. We must demolish our office space and turn it into a open space work of art! But there are small, easily feasible things you can do to change your environment and reinvigorate yourself or your team.

My personal strategy is to go for a walk. I often have calls with my team members and partners while I go for a walk. The ideas flow better and my mind seems to work better. A leadership team I worked with agreed that every other team meeting they held would be at a different location. Who says you can’t have a team meeting while at the park? This same idea is why I often hold team workshops and retreats at my studio. It forces the team to get out of their typical environment and step into the unfamiliar.  This unwritten rule about needing to have our butts in the seats of a boardroom to conduct business is slowly fading away. One of my goals for this year is to have a SNoW Co. team meeting at our local zoo or theme park. Because, yes, meetings can involve fun and bumper car competitions!

The bottom line is that if you are feeling stuck and needing to rejuvenate the senses, a change of location, even if for five minutes, can work wonders.

This month, challenge yourself to work in a new location and tell us what you notice is different for you in the new space. Share your comments on the blog!

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